Tuesday, January 28, 2014

All Around the Web - January 28, 2014

HT: The Blaze

Albert MohlerAbortion and the American Conscience
America has been at war over abortion for the last four decades and more. When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe v. Wade, the court’s majority attempted to put an end to the abortion question. To the contrary, that decision both enlarged and revealed the great moral divide that runs through the center of our culture.

Most Americans seem completely unaware of the actual contours of the abortion debate as it emerged in the early 1970s. In 1973, the primary opposition to abortion on demand came from the Roman Catholic Church. Evangelicals — representative of the larger American culture — were largely out of the debate. At that time, a majority of evangelicals seemed to see abortion as a largely Catholic issue. It took the shock of Roe v. Wade and the reality of abortion on demand to awaken the Evangelical conscience.

Roe v. Wade was championed as one of the great victories achieved by the feminist movement. The leaders of that movement claimed — and continue to claim — that the availability of abortion on demand is necessary in order for women to be equal with men with respect to the absence of pregnancy as an obstacle to career advancement. Furthermore, the moral logic of Roe v. Wade was a thunderous affirmation of the ideal of personal autonomy that had already taken hold of the American mind. As the decision made all too clear, rights talk had displaced what had been seen as the higher concern of right versus wrong.

The Gospel Coalition - Justification and Sanctification: What's the Problem?

Owen Strachan - The World Needs Pastors
David Brooks just wrote an eloquent New York Times column entitled “The Art of Presence” on helping friends through suffering. Referencing a Christian family named the Woodiwisses who have experienced multiple tragedies, Brooks says the following is what such sufferers need in tough times:
I’d say that what these experiences call for is a sort of passive activism. We have a tendency, especially in an achievement-oriented culture, to want to solve problems and repair brokenness — to propose, plan, fix, interpret, explain and solve. But what seems to be needed here is the art of presence — to perform tasks without trying to control or alter the elemental situation. Allow nature to take its course. Grant the sufferers the dignity of their own process. Let them define meaning. Sit simply through moments of pain and uncomfortable darkness. Be practical, mundane, simple and direct.
Read the whole piece.
It strikes me when I read sentiments like these that the world needs pastors. It doesn’t need some fancy new form of caregiver. Pastors do not offer anything particularly new. The best pastors are not necessarily famous; the best pastors are there for their people. They are shepherds. This is a common descriptor but a meaningful one. Pastors lead their people through the waystations of life. Pastors celebrate with their members in spectacular seasons and stick close to their members in suffering. There need be nothing innovative or dazzling in this work; the major palliative a pastor gives is Christ-shaped care and love.

Thom Rainer - Ten Common Topics of Church Member Arguments
  1. Worship and music style. I do believe this long-standing battle is diminishing. But it’s still around, sometimes with intensity.
  2. Volume of music in the services. This issue is, of course, closely related to the first issue. It is, however, a battle unto itself in some churches.
  3. Reasons why churches die. There are many perspectives on this matter, and it often becomes a point of debate in declining churches. Members struggle to discern why their particular churches are declining.
  4. Proper attire for church services. I have never posted on this topic, but that has not stopped some pretty lively comments in posts that are tangentially related at best. I’m still debating whether or not I should give my ties to Goodwill.
  5. Pastors’ salaries. Though the discussion has been lively on posts of this topic, the majority of those commenting desire to see pastors have a better or more adequate income.
  6. Megachurches. I have not posted a qualitative article on megachurches yet. But I have posted lists of large churches. The mere mention of large churches or megachurches seems to draw strongly opinionated church members.
  7. The number of hours a pastor works each week. Sometimes I am surprised by the intensity of comments on some topics. This topic is one of those.
  8. Why people leave a church. Closely related to number three, some church members express strong opinions on why people leave a church. Most of them have strong opinions on how to close the back door as well.
  9. Role of a pastor’s wife. I am still seeing comments on a couple of posts I did on this topic. Hardly a day passes that someone else doesn’t join the discussion.
  10. Perspectives on pastors’ children. This topic drew many pastors’ kids and former pastors’ kids. The strong emotions were indicative of a lot of hurt and pain that was still present in these current and former PKs.

Breitbart - Gender differences found in memory; men have more problems remembering
There are gender differences in memory, Norwegian scientists say, and men have more problems than women do in remembering dates, faces or conversations.

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, as part of a large national population health study, asked 48,000 people nine questions about how well they think they remember.

When asked how often they had problems remembering things, whether they had problems with remembering names and dates, if they could remember what they did one year ago and if they were able to remember details from conversations, men reported the most problems for eight out of nine questions, the researchers said.

"It was surprising to see that men forget more than women," researcher Jostein Holmen said. "This has not been documented before. It was also surprising to see that men are just as forgetful whether they are 30 or 60 years old. The results were unambiguous."

Backstreet Boys meets Bluegrass. Your welcome.

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